THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON POPE FRANCIS
We are all sinners. That is a fact of life. It is something
we will struggle with all our lives, even as we strive to
be saints. That is not a damnable situation, as long as we
strive to repent.
But are you a corrupt Christian? Do you inflict not just harm
on yourself as a sinner, but also harm to the Church? Who
is the corrupt Christian, according to Pope Francis?
he is one who causes scandal.
The leadership of a Church organization that brings another
Church organization to court rather than to Church authorities
regarding a matter that involves Church work.
(speaking against) with brethren about the perceived shortcomings
of another, causing dissent and disunity within the body.
Second, he is one who leads a double life.
Going to Mass on Sunday and receiving communion, but the
rest of the week doing many things contrary to Christian
teachings in CFC-FFL but blatantly failing to live these
he is one who is unjust. Justice is giving to the other what
is his due.
having enough awe and respect for the Lord in the Eucharist.
doing enough to be his brother’s keeper, especially
in the context of Christian community.
God (and the community) of his time, talent and treasure,
thereby adversely affecting mission.
he is one who deceives. Satan is the deceiver, the father
outright lies about others in order to malign them.
half-truths, spinning a situation in order to convey a different
meaning or conclusion, even as he tells the “truth.”
Fifth, he is one who does not know humility. Jesus humbled
himself, while Satan exalted himself.
servant leader who governs more as a lord rather than a
on his own ideas and preferences, despite having already
taken up the matter with various leaders in community.
or resigning unceremoniously and in effect abandoning his
service when he does not get his way.
he is one who does not live in the spirit of the gospel but
in the spirit of worldliness.
in gossip about brethren in Christian community.
CFC-FFL leader bringing his complaints about other leaders
to his household members and ending up maligning those leaders.
sinner can and will be saved. After all, Jesus came into the
world for sinners. But the corrupt Christian, one who talks
like a Christian but does not walk as a Christian, is one
who does not have the Spirit of God, and is fit just to have
a millstone placed around his neck and be thrown into the
Pope Francis: 'Corrupt Christians Do Much Harm to
on Christ's Forgiveness of Repentant Sinners During Morning
Junno Arocho Esteves
CITY, November 11, 2013 (Zenit.org) - During his homily at
Casa Santa Marta today, the Holy Father warned of those who
pretend to be Christian while calling on the faithful to recognize
themselves as sinners so as not to be corrupt.
from today’s Gospel from St. Luke, Pope Francis underlined
Christ’s example in forgiving a repentant sinner. However,
Jesus also gives a word of warning to those who are a
cause of scandal. “What is the difference
between sinning and scandalizing?” the Holy Father asked.
difference is that one who sins and repents, asks forgiveness,
feels weak, feels like a son of God, humbles himself, and
asks for salvation from Jesus. But the other who scandalizes,
what is it that scandalizes? That he does not repent. He continues
to sin, but pretends to be a
Christian: the double life. And the double life of a Christian
does much harm, so much harm. ‘But I
am a benefactor of the Church! I put my hand in my pocket
and I give to the Church.’ But with the other hand,
he robs: the State, the poor...he steals. He is unjust. This
is the double life. And this merits - says Jesus, not myself
- that a millstone be placed around his neck and thrown to
the sea. He does not speak of forgiveness here.”
one who scandalizes deceives,
he continued, and where there is deception, there is no Spirit
of God. The Holy Father stated that such is
the difference between one who is a sinner and one who is
corrupt. One who is corrupt will continue to lead a double
life while a repentant sinner will admit his weakness and
will go to the Lord.
we should call ourselves sinners, yes, everyone, here!, we
all are. Corrupt, no. One who is corrupt is fixed on a state
of sufficiency, he does not
know what is humility,” the Pope said.
“Jesus, to these corrupt ones, says: ‘Their
beauty is of ‘whitewashed sepulchres’,
that appear beautiful, on the exterior, but within are full
of dead bones and decay. And a Christian who boasts about
being a Christian, but does not live the Christian life, is
one of these corrupt ones.”
all know one person,” he continued, “who is in
this situation and how much damage they do to the Church!
Corrupt Christians, corrupt priests...How
much harm they do to the Church! Because
they do not live in the spirit of the Gospel, but
in the spirit of worldliness.”
Francis stressed to those present that entering into this
worldliness can take one to live a double life, calling the
life one who is corrupt as a “varnished decay.”
Concluding his homily, the Holy Father noted the beauty of
Christ’s example who called on his disciples to forgive
those who are repentant.
is what [Jesus] does with sinners. He does not tire of forgiving,
only on the condition of not living this double life, to go
to Him repentant: ‘Forgive me, Lord, I am a sinner!’.
‘Go forward, go forward,: I know.’ And such is
the Lord. Let us ask today the grace of the Holy Spirit that
flees from every deception, let us ask the grace to recognize
ourselves sinners: we are sinners. Sinners,
yes. Corrupt, no.”
Bullet-point examples are according to the SG, within the context
 To the public the scandal would involve all parties concerned.
But just like a married couple that separates, sometimes there
is the innocent party. The culpable one in a scandal is the
one who does not follow the way of dialogue, forgiveness, love
for one’s enemy, and submission to Church authority.